Monday, 22 October 2012

Carrock Fell to Great Calva social media hike.

Sunday 21st October was a walking day on Carrock Fell, organised by the irrepressible Gina @CumbrianBlondie and her hubby Dave @Kendalskintcake and Gary @northlakesuk. Although a smaller turnout than previous occasions, this was a brilliant day for walking, including the weather, company and terrain. 'The Beast' was packed in the cage and I drove once again via Bluegate Crossroads above Caldbeck. The view in the early morning light was breathtaking. I have witnessed this sight for 26yrs, sunrise and sunset and still it takes my breath away.

The drop down into Caldbeck from Bluegate Crossroads.

Approaching Carrock Fell from Heskett New Market, this would be our first fell.
 We met up at the Ford at Carrock Beck & decided on a two car approach so left one at Wolfram mine, Swineside and parked the others at the base of the steep path just off the road NY354338 and set off up the ever increasing incline. A very good route over rocks and scree and a good blowout of any lingering drink effects from the night before, my best route onto this fell.
Click on the image and you will see the track angling from the right and heading for Further Gill Syke.

Three trees acting as sentinels for the route up.

Looking East toward the Eden valley and The Pennines.
Now it is at this point of the walk that a serious injury occurred with a slip by Gina causing severe bruising to her Tweeting thumb muscle. It looked sore, but hopefully nothing broken. It was also the point in the walk where Dave noticed an effect in the thin clouds with the morning sun behind. I managed to get a shot of this, not looking down the eyepiece of course.


I can't recall ever seeing this before and well worth the walk just to see and record it. I've seen glorious rainbows and a Brocken Spectre, but not this feat of nature. We moved on taking in the iron age ring encampment that is all but destroyed. As normal I forgot a photo of this feature, though fair to say it can't really be seen in one. It takes the eye to view all around, work it out and let the mind see it, no one photograph can show it.
From Carrock Fell our next summit of High Pike and it's trig point were in view.
For those unaware of the terrain, the surprise comes from such a craggy summit to suddenly wading through peat bogs all the way to virtually the summit of High Pike. Myself and Gary have covered this fell so knew what to expect.

The summit of High Pike. This is Gina and I believe she is tweeting the fact that she can no longer tweet. Nothing keeps a good girl down for long!
We moved on after taking in the tremendous views of Caldbeck, the north Solway Plain and a discussion with a few others walkers on High Pike. We were setting a good pace, but were impeded by this Shepherd moving his stock toward The Knott, our next destination. That said, who could not 'stand and stare' at fell life continuing through history albeit with the modern aid of a quad bike. We managed to move quickly and were happy to catch up to a fellow walker though could see he had a year or two on us. We gave him some top walking points and marked ourselves down on the fitness points when we found out he was 86years of age and tramping on. The next feature you come across is the Lingy Bothy, a wooden shed that people sleep in on the fells. There is a visitors book and some left over candles etc. After a marked up visit in the book by Gina we continued for our next summit and a bait stop.
The Shepherd, his dogs and flock, oh and a quad bike.

Viewing back to Lingy Bothy Gina and Dave nearly 'holding hands'.
A bait stop on the summit of The Knott. 'The Beast' looking aggrieved that she's not been given hers yet. Here we once again were treated to PrincessG's heavenly brownies and with people not in abundance that meant, seconds.
After entering into a conversation with another walker and wishing we hadn't we cracked on for Great Calva constantly checking back that he wasn't catching up to bore us to tears anymore with his football tails, a game he didn't really follow but never shut up about. Unfortunately he was catching up, so we hit top speed and managed to draw away, to the last fell in our sights. Great Calva summit is once again a rocky outcrop and gives excellent views of the back of Blencathra and Skiddaw, including Skiddaw house, an old shooting lodge for Lord Lonsdale.
Great Calva on the right with a view of Glenderaterra Valley, framed by Blease Fell and Lonscale Fell, as seen from The Knott.

The summit cairn of Great Calva, Gary photographing me, photographing him. Bowscale Fell framed by the cairn and him.

Our route down the fence line and the river Caldews beginnings, heading inextricably for Carlisle and the Solway.
Once down the bottom (incidentally I slipped after telling others it could be slippy), we crossed the beck and headed down the Cumbria Way route where the benefits of parking the car at Wolfram mine became apparent. If I'm fell walking I like to be on fells or tracks, not tarmac. A road was put in the valley for the mine and I'd rather drive it than walk it. This mine no longer works but when it did it was for Tungsten. It was only ever viable as a dependable source in times of war, so lets hope it is never needed to be opened again. A good walk of 16kms and 850m ascent, a good day out on rock and peat bog, in good weather.
 After a short car journey we were reunited with the other cars and a quick trip to The Mill Inn, Mungrisedale for the reward of two very good ales in this Robinsons Inn. We said our goodbyes and headed home with another meet arranged, if all can make it, for Wetherlam on 28th.


  1. Great photos. Such a blue sky! Carrock Fell is one of my favourites...

    1. Thanks Tanya, I don't get on these all that much as I look on them every day, though know Carrock very well. They are the 'boggy series' for me and I like rock. easy ride though and if you have never been into Swineside it's well worth the trip. They shot some 'Wuthering Heights sequences up there.

  2. My stomping ground Ray. Good stuff and a nice day for it, I only saw the night...

    1. It was a very good day Ben and the beer was perfect. I was given a gift of a 330ml bottle of 11% beer. Tonight is it's night! That will top off todays 2 & 1/2 beers at The Kirkstyle Inn. Loving the life marra.

  3. Great read Ray - made me laugh especially trying to escape the most boring guy in the world as I remember hiding behind a bush from someone just like that once! I hope you didn't make 'The Beast' wait too long for her share...

    1. Thanks Karen, it counts for a lot from yourself. 'The Beast' melted my heart and had a Chumbone thigy, but I had her wait 10mins for a treat the size of your thumbnail. (It's just a dog!).